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Tributes paid to popular Thomas Cook employee who passed away after cancer battle

A popular member of the Maidenhead community and a Thomas Cook employee for 29 years has died.

Rachel Duthie died on May 27 following a battle with cancer aged 49.

Born in Taplow in 1969, Rachel grew up in Maidenhead with her Spanish mum, Carmen, and sisters Marie and Michelle.

Regularly going to Spain as a child to stay in the family’s holiday home gave Rachel a love of travel and she spent her youth taking flight all over the world with Marie.

In 1995, Rachel had her son Max, 22, and in 1998 daughter Chloe, 20.

Max said that as well as being as brilliant mother to them, Rachel also became a second mum to her children’s friends and her house, in Ross Road, became a second home.

For nine years growing up, Max played as a forward for Maidenhead Rugby Club and Rachel did not think twice about chaperoning the team as a guardian when they went on tour.

Rachel, Max and Chloe enjoyed many holidays over the years, some as a result of competitions Rachel won in recognition of her hard work at Thomas Cook, in High Street.

The family went to Disneyland, Paris when the children were young and Rachel took Max to the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona a few years ago.

She also won trophies and certificates for her performance at work.

A letter from Thomas Cook to Max and Chloe acknowledged both Rachel’s dedication to her job and her spirited personality.

It read: “She was hugely dedicated to her role and her customers, and cared for everyone around her.

“She truly was the biggest character in the team, and the store will never be the same without her.”

With her mum’s encouragement, Chloe did a sky dive to raise money for Cancer Research UK which Rachel saw her do on May 6. At the time of going to press £2,895 has been donated to the appeal.

Rachel had been diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2015 and went in to remission in February 2017.

Doctors detected a brain tumour in September.

Rachel received the news just two weeks before her mum, Carmen, died.

On May 24, at Thames Hospice, Rachel marked her 49th birthday which her loved ones took as an opportunity to say goodbye.

Rachel’s funeral will take place on June 12. Friends are welcome to the Church service at St Joseph’s Church, Cookham Road. The burial is for family only.

When Rachel was going through her cancer treatment at Wexham Park she enjoyed the complementary therapies offered by the charity Complementary Care in Cancer.

At the family’s request anyone wanting to send flowers are being asked to donate to this cause instead.

Visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/complementarycareincancerfhft 

To donate to Cancer Research UK in support of Chloe’s SkyDive go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/chloe-barnes10 

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